gnawing on flesh

16 Aug

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.” (John 6:51-58, NRSV)

We, as Christians, say we eat the flesh of Christ and drink His blood. It is the Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper, Communion. We partake of this sacrament, and it connects us to Jesus, and God.

But did you know that early Christians were thought to be cannibals because of this? And even today there are some people who may not understand when we say we are eating His body and drinking His blood. It is insider language.

What else do we as christians say that is insider language?



These are some Lutheran terms that we can get hung up on.

But what is that isn’t even the biggest issue with this text?

Have you ever known someone who smacks their jowls when they eat?

They make a noise that sounds like a cow chewing its cud?

A sound that is loud and obnoxious?

A sound that is filled with extreme joy for what is being eaten?

That is gnawing…

it is what a dog does to a bone. It bites down hard and really loves to chew on that thing.

That is what one of the words John uses when referring to communion, and how we are to “eat” His flesh.

We are to smack our jowls and get into eating the bread given as His body. It is not a polite Martha Stewart kind of dinner, but a smack down of finger licking good down home fried chicken!

So smack those jowls, and get into the sacrament that feeds us!


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